FILE- In this image taken from footage released by Azerbaijan s Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, an Azerbaijan s rocket launches from missile system at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. (Azerbaijan s Defense Ministry via AP)
YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenian and Azerbaijani forces fought over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh for a second day Monday, with both sides blaming each other for resuming the attacks that reportedly killed and wounded dozens as the decades-old conflict has reignited.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed Armenian forces shelled the town of Tartar, while Armenian officials said the fighting continued overnight and Baku resumed "offensive actions" in the morning.
Azerbaijani military officials told the Interfax news agency that over 550 Armenian troops have been "destroyed (including those wounded)" in a claim that Armenia denied.
In this image taken from a footage released by Armenian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Armenian army destroys Azerbaijani tanks at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. (Armenian Defense Ministry via AP)
According to officials in the predominantly Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, 58 servicemen on their side have been killed so far. Initially, the list of killed soldiers from the territory's Defense Ministry had 59 names on it, but officials later said one man on the list was wounded, not killed.
On Sunday, the ministry also reported two civilian deaths — a woman and her grandchild.
About 200 people have been wounded, the Armenian Defense Ministry said, while Azerbaijani authorities said six civilians were killed and 26 wounded on their side. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said Sunday there were losses among Baku's forces, too, but he didn't elaborate.
In this handout photo taken from a footage released by Azerbaijan s Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Azerbaijan s forces destroy Armenian anti-aircraft system at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. (Armenian s Defense Ministry via AP)
The heavy fighting broke out Sunday in the region that lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by the Yerevan government since 1994 at the end of a separatist war.
Azerbaijan said it destroyed two Armenian tanks, and Nagorno-Karabakh's Defense Ministry reported that Baku "lost 10 armored vehicles in a tank battle."
The Armenian Defense Ministry said that, while the fighting continued, "all offensives of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces were successfully repelled, the enemy was thrown back" and suffered losses.
Nagorno-Karabakh — a region in the Caucasus Mountains about 4,400 square kilometers (1,700 square miles) or about the size of the U.S. state of Delaware — is 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Armenian border. Soldiers backed by Armenia also occupy some Azerbaijani territory outside the region.
In this handout photo released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, people watch the State TV as they gather in a bomb shelter to protect against the shelling in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. (Armenian Foreign Ministry via AP)
The European Union urged both sides to stop fighting and return to the negotiating table, following similar calls by Iran, Russia, France and the United States.
"We hope and we urge everyone to everything they can in order to prevent an all-out war from breaking out, because this is the last thing the region needs," European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said in Brussels. "There is no military solution to this conflict."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the situation "is a cause for concern for Moscow and other countries."
"We believe that the hostilities should be immediately ended," Peskov said, adding that the process of resolving the conflict should shift into "a politico-diplomatic" dimension.
Armenia's Foreign Ministry accused Turkey, which sides with Azerbaijan in the conflict, of "supporting this aggression."
This handout photo released by Armenian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, shows a damaged after shelling flat in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. (Edgar Kamalyan/Armenian Foreign Ministry via AP)
"Turkish military experts are fighting side by side with Azerbaijan, who are using Turkish weapons, including UAVs and warplanes," the ministry said. The situation "clearly indicates" that people in Nagorno-Karabakh are fighting against "a Turkish-Azerbaijani alliance," the statement said.
Both Armenia and Turkey accused each other of recruiting foreign mercenaries.
Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party, denied reports that Turkey had sent arms or foreign fighters to Azerbaijan.
"Armenia is disturbed by Turkey's solidarity with Azerbaijan and is producing lies against Turkey," Celik tweeted.
Erdogan reiterated Turkey's support for Azerbaijan and said Armenia's immediate withdrawal from the region was the only way to ensure peace.
"All other impositions and threats will not only be unjust and unlawful, but will continue to indulge Armenia," he said.
In this photo released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, people gather in a bombshelter to protect against shelling in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. (Edgar Kamalyan/Armenian Foreign Ministry via AP)
Erdogan criticized France, the U.S. and Russia — the three chairs of the so-called Minsk group that was set up in 1992 to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict — saying they had failed to resolve the issue for 30 years.
"They have done their best not to solve this issue. And now they come and counsel and issue threats. They say 'is Turkey here, is the Turkish military here?'" Erdogan said.
"Whose lands were occupied? Azerbaijan's lands. … Nobody asks for (Armenia) to account. Azerbaijan has been forced to take the matters into its own hands," he added.
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is still actively searching for ways to safeguard abortion access for millions of women, even as it bumps up against a complex web of strict new state laws enacted in the months after the Supreme Court stripped the constitutional right.
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